Sunday, April 13, 2008

As a Sunday should be!

Today, after my knee finally stopped hurting from my fall, I decided to go visit one of my students who lives about a kilometer and 1-2 from my town on the ¨highway¨ (dirt road). I´ll quickly explain the fall so as to not leave you hanging in wonder. While running on Monday with one of my neighbors we were just about to finish up the run and stop when we reached the entrance to my town. I was trying to encourage her to keep running until the end and because I wasn´t paying attention I slipped on the gravel and skinned my knee and hands pretty good. It didn´t really hurt too bad at the time but the next day it was a little painful to bend when I walked. Anyway, I still have a pretty nice scrap mark on my knee, but it doesn´t really hurt anymore. By the way, third time I have fallen in Nicaragua. : )

O.k. Back to my story. So, I set out on my bike around 6:30 in the morning to beat the brutal sun and as soon as I arrived they put me to work. I finally learned how to milk a cow and it wasn´t as hard as I thought. It´s all about technique. (I say that pretty casually even though what I milked probably would only have filled about a cup.) After ¨we¨ filled about a bucket-full of milk, they made me coffee with fresh cow milk...mmm, it´s so yummy, to accompany the eggs and tortilla for breakfast! What could be better, everything you need right there at your fingertips: the milk straight from the cow, that is also used to make the cheese, and their 4-year old son was sent into the weeds to search for freshly laid eggs. What I loved about visiting this family is that they can live so simply, yet they are still so happy. For example, there is no electricity or running water, but they have candles and the husband just finished digging a well himself, the letrine has no door and you bathe out in the open at the bottom of the hill with the water you pump yourself from the well and no one is shy about it because there is no one else around. Like I just mentioned, they have everything they need food wise and if not, they just grow it. What a wonderful life! After eating a lot (typical of Nica´s to feed you until you have to firmly refuse to eat another bite) I decided to go on a hike with my 8-year old student. We walked over the rolling, golden hills typical of my region and through the tall fields of wheat to her grandmother´s house that was literally in the middle of nowhere (sounds like something out of a fairytale, right!) . From there, the grandmother took me on the most amazing tour of her land. She lives right by the river which was pretty dry in most parts, as is most of Nicaragua or Chontales anyway during the month of April, especially at the height of summer, but it felt like I was in a different world. Unlike the town and surrounding areas that I live in, this place was filled with trees and plants that I had never even heard of and she grew just about any vegetable and exotic fruit you can imagine, unfortunately including nancites, which are these aweful little, round yellow fruit that smell horrible but the Nica´s love to make them into fruit drinks and icecream. She also grew plants and herbs that could cure just about anything including prevent cancer and treat a poisonous snake bite. It was wonderful, especially just for the fact that it was actually cool there because of the shade from the trees, which is VERY hard to find in my site. As soon as we left, you could feel the intense heat of the sun pounding down upon you. This is no exageration!


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